Start Summit 2024 revamped with several highlights

The annual Start Summit will occur on 21 and 22 March 2024 in St. Gallen, providing the Swiss startup ecosystem a platform to foster innovation and collaboration among students, founders, investors, and corporates. Several new formats will be unleased this year, including the pre-event, Day0, two award competitions and a larger START fair offering free booths to 120 startups. Registration for the different formats is open.

The START Summit, an annual gathering organized by students from the University of St. Gallen and ETH Zurich, is one of the leading startup conferences in Europe, aiming to connect students, founders, investors, and corporates to embrace and celebrate entrepreneurship. This year, the event will take place on 21 and 22 March 2024 at the Olma Messen St. Gallen, a larger venue that can accommodate more than 7,000 participants.

The event will feature more than 160 speakers, including prominent entrepreneurs, who will share their insights and experiences. Among them are Bryan Johnson, Founder & CEO of Blueprint, a company that builds brain-computer interfaces; Tom Mason, CTO at Stability AI, the world’s leading open-source generative AI company; Matt Clifford, Co-founder of Entrepreneur First, an investor that helps individuals create impactful startups; and Max Hodak, Founder of Neuralink, a company that develops implantable brain-machine interfaces.

The conference will also host some of the leading venture capital firms in Europe and beyond, such as Sequoia, b2venture, La Famiglia, Visionaries Club, Creandum, EQT Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures, Index Ventures, HV Capital, ICONIQ, Seedcamp, Cherry Ventures, and Headline. Participants will have the chance to meet and network with the investors in workshops, panels, and keynotes.

New and fresh formats
The 2024 START Summit has been revamped, with one of the highlights being the launch of Day0, a pre-event that will take place on 20 March offering several side events. Founders Day Zero, hosted by Techstars and The Delta, offers 100 startups and young founders the chance to join the Techstars North Star Workshop followed by an Apéro. This session allows startups to get the chance to participate in the next Techstars Berlin accelerator batch and obtain exclusive office hours with Martin Schilling, ex-COO of N26, and the Managing Director of Techstars Berlin. The Investors Night, a networking event for investors and startups; the GP X LP Dinner, an exclusive dinner for general partners and limited partners of venture capital funds; and the Media Reception, a gathering of different players who will give presentations on media in the startup world will also be held as part of Day0. Visit the event website to register for the respective activities on Day0.

Start Fair open to 120 startups
Compared to the previous year when only 30 startups exhibited in the Start Fair, the event committee is expanding the Start Fair to facilitate 120 early-stage startups that will receive a free both, giving them exposure to investors, talent and customers. Registration for the booth is open until 20th February.

Two startup Awards for startups
The Inaugural Swiss Sustainability Impact Award provides 12 Projects and Startups with a platform to pitch their ideas in front of a jury consisting of professors and industry experts. Until 10 March, startups can apply to win CHF 10,000. The second award is the annual START Summiteer, which offers 30 early-stage startups the opportunity to present their venture in front of industry leaders, serial founders and VCs. Following the Quarterfinals, the Semifinals and Finals will take place on stage on Friday to contest for the prize money of CHF 10’000. The application deadline for the competition will expire on 29 February.

The STARTup SchoolTo further empower young founders, the START committee has introduced a new initiative called STARTup School, offering an exclusive series of workshops tailored to entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts alike. The event comprises four enriching sessions covering vital topics such as pitch deck creation, AI marketing, social media ads, and team building.(RAN)